How To Install Drainage Tile and How Deep

Do you have a drainage problem?

If so, you are in the right place.

Your house can be badly damaged by water. Drainage tile can help you to get rid of this serious problem.

In this article, we will help you to install a drain tile so that your yard doesn’t get full of water anymore.

The first thing you should know about the Drain Tile is that it has nothing to do with the tiles on your floor. It is mainly known for its ability to drain water. Drain tile installation process is simple and easy.

But, do you know what exactly the drain tile is? Let’s see.

Drainage Tile

Drainage Tile

Drain tile is best described as a perforated pipe surrounded with stone. Now drain tiles are found in different shape such as round, square or rectangle. But round shape pipes are the most popular and undoubtedly the best.

A Drain Tile is also known as foundation drains and French drain in some region of the world.

Drainage Tile Installation Process

Drain tile should be installed just after the foundation of your new home is finished. Nonetheless, you can include it on a complete home as well.

Without further delay, we will now show the step by step process of installing a drainage tile in the following section of the Article.

Things needed before starting the work:

  • Shovel
  • Hoe
  • Measuring Tape
  • Tarp
  • Gravel
  • Knife
  • Perforated Drain Tile

Step 1: Dig the Trench

Dig the Trench to Install Drain Tile

Dig out a trench to put the pipe inside the hole. You can excavate using special digging equipment, or you can simply use a shovel and hoe. Don’t forget to slope the bottom of the ditch. It forces the water to move away from the structure.

How Deep the Drain Tile Should be Buried?

Make a ditch about 24-36 inch; it may vary according to the drainage problem. If the drain tiles are being installed in order to stop the subsurface water from damaging the foundation, then dig the ditch up to 72 inches deep.

If the sole concern is surface water, a 24-inch deep trench will be enough.

Step 2: Spread the Gravel

spread gravel inside the trench

After making the whole trench, you should spread gravel inside the channel. This gravel helps the water to get inside the pipe. Spreading the gravel is one of the most important tasks in the whole process of installation.

Step 3: Use the Tarp

Line the ditch with Tarp. The dirt can easily clog the drain tile when the soil is slit type. However, this step is unnecessary in sandy land or normal sites.

Step 4: Place the Perforated Drain Tile

Place the Perforated Drain Tile

Put the perforated drain tile in the center of the channel. If more than one ditch were dug, add sections of drain tiles using fittings of the same object. Alternatively, you can use strong glue that lasts for many years.

Place the hole of the pipe downward inside the trench to help the water to get inside the pipe easily. Make sure that no dust or stone fills the gap of the hole. You should be very careful while placing the Drain Tile. Installing wood look tiles might have some differences from this process.

Step 5: Test Case

Before filling the trench, you should check whether the system works or not. Test the system using water. Just pour water in the trench and wait until the water comes running through the drain tile.

If everything goes well then you are all set; otherwise, you have to check everything again from the beginning.

Step 6: Fill the Trench

fill the trench

Never fill the trench with soil, dirt, or mud first. I repeat NEVER.

Because plenty of dirt particles can quickly go down into the gravel and inside your drain tile causing water blockage.

So what to do? How to fill the trench?

Well, first fill at least twelve inches of the channel with gravel instead of soil. Afterward, put soil and dirt over the gravel and finish off your work.


Tips and Precautions

  • Use gloves while digging the trench
  • Avoid places where any utility lines are buried
  • Direct the drain towards any cannel or open place


Those who have faced water-related damage and problems to their habitat would love to install drainage tile in their house. It may cost you some money and time. But, you will surely understand the effectiveness of drainage tile when you witness the result with your own eyes. And tiling costs are always low when you DIY.

We have illustrated how to install drainage tile in only five steps.

If you face any problem during the installation process, feel free to consult with us.

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